Last night I spent a fair amount of time cruising YouTube for videos of the recently released movie Get Him To The Greek starring Jonah Hill and Russell Brand. I had seen a couple of trailers for this movie and was struck by the similarity to one of my all time favorite movies, My Favorite Year (1982), starring Mark Linn Baker and Peter O'Toole. I've seen My Favorite Year several times, I have not yet seen Get Him To The Greek but may have to.
The storyline of both movies is basically the same: Sweet, slightly-goofy, nerdy entertainment-business underling is given the assignment of shepherding very-famous, devastatingly-sexy performer with a long history of substance abuse and bad behavior to an important performance. Along the way the gorgeous, screwed-up famous guy gets the naïve, nerdy nobody guy into all kinds of trouble but a rather charming friendship emerges and, ultimately, the sweetness of the nerdy guy helps the famous guy realize he needs to clean up his act. That's about it but the simplicity of that summation takes nothing away from the charm of the story.
What struck me was the similarity of the characters Aldous Snow, played by tall (6'2”), gorgeous, funny, incredibly sexy Englishman Russell Brand and Alan Swan, played by tall (6'2”), gorgeous, funny, incredibly sexy Irishman Peter O'Toole. To begin with both actors are perfectly cast. Peter O'Toole was better known as a dramatic actor (Lawrence of Arabia, The Lion in Winter) when he made this movie but his gift for comedy is delightful and he has a wonderful capacity to be funny, alluring, and maddening all at the same time. Alan Swann can turn on the charm and then be a complete jerk in a nano-second. There is one scene that I absolutely love in a restaurant when an older man tells him that his wife loves his work and would he say hello to her. Swann asks the lady, a plump, middle-aged matron, to dance but then uses the occasion, with some help from his side-kick, Baker, to pick up the glamorous girlfriend of a mobster. But when he is dancing with the older lady, looking into her eyes and sweeping her elegantly about the dance floor, how can any woman not swoon?
Russell Brand, as I mentioned in a previous blog post, is better known as a stand-up comic. He's known for his cockney accent, rapid-fire wit, no small amount of intelligence with an impressive vocabulary and knowledge of just about everything. Oh, and let's not forget the fact that he is both gorgeous and mind-numbingly sexy. He first created Aldous Snow in Forgetting Sarah Marshall which would have been a tedious film were it not for his hilarious but brilliant over-sexed, demented rock star Aldous Snow. In fact, Aldous Snow was so popular the producers decided he deserved his own movie thus we have Get Him To The Greek. Aldous Snow may be the greatest make-believe rock star on film. The scenee in these videos are from the movie:
So, the question is: Is Aldous Snow the reincarnation of Alan Swann? They're both tall, delicious, depraved, screwed-up, brilliant stars who need a dumpy, idealistic, naïve kid who worships them to show them the errors of their ways. Like I said, I haven't seen Get Him to the Greek yet but I'm pretty convinced I'm on to something here. As for Peter O'Toole and Russell Brand, neither of them needs me to tell you how amazing they are. I can't think of a better actor than Russell Brand to reincarnate a character created by Peter O'Toole.
What do you suppose he could do with Henry II?
Thanks for reading.